Patagonia Sues Gap for Copying ‘Iconic’ Flap Pocket

Upscale outdoor apparel retailer Patagonia has filed a lawsuit accusing Gap Inc of illegally copying the “iconic” fold-over pocket it has used in fleece outerwear for more than three decades.

In a complaint Tuesday night filed in San Francisco federal court, Patagonia said Gap knowingly and deliberately sells fleece jackets that mimic the flap pocket and rectangular “P-6” logo without permission.

Patagonia said Gap’s actions undermined its good faith and were intended to confuse shoppers into thinking it manufactured the jackets or allowing the retailer to use its brands.

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It also said it had warned San Francisco-based Gap in previous years to stop copying its products, meaning that “purported adoption of designs and logos that bear a greater similarity cannot happen by accident.”

The suit includes a one-star review posted online by a Gap customer who described a Gap product as “Oburred Pata*gonia ripoff. I had to zoom in just to make sure the logo was GAP.”

Gap did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.

The suit seeks to recover lost profits and unspecified damages, and to stop further violations.

Patagonia said it introduced the Snap-T fleece in 1985 and added the fold-over pocket four years later.

She said the Snap-T design has been included in exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

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Patagonia is a privately held company headquartered in Ventura, California. It sued Wal-Mart last month for allegedly infringing on a trout trademark logo.

The case is Patagonia Inc v. Gap Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-07437.

By Jonathan Stempel Editor: Bill Berkrot

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